Cath’s shower blog                                                                    Now into its 6th year!

For those who know me, you will be aware that I am infinitely interested in how we use water, both in the UK and globally and spend a lot of time at work and at home discussing behaviour around water. A recent encounter with one of those showers where you lose the will to live while rinsing shampoo out of your hair inspired me to start this blog.

As its title suggests it will be about me showering. Now, whilst I think this will be fascinating, it may need a bit of a teaser to get most of you to read further, so sex and drugs and rock and roll should hopefully do it! But seriously, I hope readers will find it interesting and engaging and that it will inspire some of you to spend less time in the shower sorting out the world, and just use it to clean yourself. I also hope it will result in more research into how we can all use less water to bathe.

I travel around the UK quite a lot on business, visit friends in the UK and abroad and have a part share in a canal boat, so I will have quite a few options of different showering experiences to blog about without changing anything much. I guess I will have to have a cold shower at some point which I am not looking forward to, but on the plus side I harbour fantasies of being invited to try out showers both weird and wonderful!

‘Just got side-tracked into your shower blog; read about six and had to waste 2.5 litres on an otherwise unnecessary wee!’

Louise Halestrap
Centre of Alternative Technology

May - crunching the numbers at 5 Roseberry Gardens

May – crunching the numbers at 5 Roseberry Gardens

 A couple of years back a ten year old girl (one of thousands or primary school children who I have been lucky enough to chat to about being water smart over the last few years) told me that at her home there was a problem with the plumbing which meant ...
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April – showering in fog

April – showering in fog

Now that is a new idea … or maybe not… But at least it puts off the moment when I have to ‘fess up that despite being the ‘best aunty Cath in the world’ my powers of persuasion of how a four minute shower will save the polar bears hasn’t ...
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March – showering for decontamination

March – showering for decontamination

Back in December for my blog on how long it actually takes to get clean in the shower I was chasing a few friends who are academics for dystopian sci-fi 1960’s pictures of people in showers. I should have just gone straight for the decontamination showers folder!         Or ...
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February – a history of showers part 2

February – a history of showers part 2

A preamble So it was Christmas and Andy Goodson said I was one of his favourite people even though he didn’t know me that well. And that maybe that was because we had known each other in a past life. I guess any normal person would have replied, ‘Oh that’s ...
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January 2017 – a history of showers by a. n. other

January 2017 – a history of showers by a. n. other

Thank goodness for WWW land! When your back is against the wall because you have been overly concentrating on making sure you don’t bomb at you first ever stand-up gig, and suddenly there is less than one week left of the month and you haven’t even started the shower blog, ...
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December 2016 – how long does it actually take to get clean in the shower?

December 2016 – how long does it actually take to get clean in the shower?

I ask this question since I spent a week in a science lab recently with a stream of eager 7-11 year olds coming in to learn how to be water smart. This was part of Thames Water’s fabulous Water Efficiency in Schools Programme, and one of the main messages we ...
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November 2016 – (not) showering at the office

November 2016 – (not) showering at the office

I started this blog back in June 2016 before getting diverted into blogging about showering on a canal boat instead. So, trying again…  Warning: this is quite a long and technical blog but at least there is a joke at the end. To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken me ...
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October 2016 – how often do you shower?

October 2016 – how often do you shower?

As the days get shorter and my stomach ramps up its Neanderthal message of ‘winter is coming, food will get scarce, so eat eat eat’ I thought I would blog about how often as compared to how long in the shower. Hopefully I haven’t blogged about this before but hey, ...
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September 2016 – Extreme showering Part 2

September 2016 – Extreme showering Part 2

Those of you who read the blog avidly will know I was camping in France in the summer, and were no doubt confused that whilst I listed the vagaries of showers in French campsites I hadn’t touched on the carbon content therein as I did when showering in Austria and ...
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August 2016 - Poolgate!

August 2016 – Poolgate!

Never one to miss a trick this month’s blog asks whether the divers forgetting to take their obligatory pre public pool shower was the reason for Poolgate, as suggested by some commentators following Tom Daley’s tweet; or an over keenness on the part of the Olympic organisers to save a ...
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July 2016 – Showering in a post Brexit world

It’s no secret I was a strong advocate to Remain – see the contribution I made to the Green Register blog Brexit or Bremain – what it means for the construction industry – and events post the result have not changed my mind. In fact if anything they have made ...
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June 2016 – Showering on a canal boat

June 2016 – Showering on a canal boat

I was going to blog about the efficiencies of heating hot water using an Air Source Heat Pump, (as that is how the water is heated at the ech2o offices). But to do that I had to explain why I was showering in the office in the first place which ...
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May 2016 – Shower spray patterns

May 2016 – Shower spray patterns

I started a blog about this a couple of years back only to find that googling ‘shower patterns’ doesn’t get you very far in www.world. But having received a complimentary Ecocamel Orbit shower head (cheers guys!) I thought I should revisit. Otherwise this blog will just look like an advertorial, ...
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April 2016 – Extreme showering

April 2016 – Extreme showering

How extreme? Well 6m below sea level – extreme enough for you? Bit like the well-known extreme ironing. Those who know me well will be on a knife edge at this point. After all it is something that I would possibly do in the interests of science – after all, ...
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March 2016 – How low can the flow rate go?

March 2016 – How low can the flow rate go?

To misquote Jane Austen, it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that if you reduce the flow rate from a shower people will just stay longer under it and so no water will actually be saved. I have always struggled with this statement, especially as it is usually used by producers ...
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February 2016 – Showering in fossilised water

February 2016 – Showering in fossilised water

Showering in fossilised water… how cool does that sound? Transported back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth for a quick shower under a waterfall for the purposes of this blog… But, I hear some of you ask, haven’t you already done that Cath, back when you were showering with ...
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January 2016 – Braving the shower at Roseberry Gardens

January 2016 – Braving the shower at Roseberry Gardens

As a year of showering variously hits its half century (I know, I can’t quite believe it either), I thought a blog about the trepidation with which those who stay overnight at our house approach their shower would be in order. Users are faced with a selection of gizmos to ...
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December 2015 – Showering in a design icon 2

December 2015 – Showering in a design icon 2

For those of you who loved the geeky science bits of ‘showering in a design icon 1’ back in October, you will be somewhat disappointed by this month’s blog. But for those of you not too keen on the math’s content of my blogs – hi Lydia and Suhith – ...
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November 2015 – Showering with Frankie the flamingo

November 2015 – Showering with Frankie the flamingo

As Safa leaves us for bigger (though obviously not better – no sinking flamingos or crabs who don’t like poo on their heads at her new job) things she finally makes the shower blog – the pinnacle of success for everyone who works at ech2o. There is not a lot ...
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October 2015 – Showering in a design icon

October 2015 – Showering in a design icon

“How do you improve a design icon?” asks the latest Fiat 500 ad. Before proving essentially that you can’t. Which is my way of pacifying Minty whilst segwaying neatly into the subject of this month’s blog, a shower that its inventers hope will become a design icon in its own ...
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September 2015 – Showering with the Neanderthals

September 2015 – Showering with the Neanderthals

Well, obviously not actually showering with them! After all they were obliterated some 40,000 years ago and not even Mu (my mum for those new to this blog) would believe that tale from her oldest daughter. Though, as I constantly enjoy reminding her, she was very impressed with my invitation ...
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August 2015 – Showering for as long as I want? Part 2

August 2015 – Showering for as long as I want? Part 2

I was in Exeter last week at the Water Efficiency Network’s annual conference. Had a great time especially enlivened by: Stuart Broad taking 8 for 15 as the Aussies were skittled out for 60 in the shortest test innings ever – just brilliant! my shower in the student accommodation having ...
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July 2015 – Random shower stories 3

July 2015 – Random shower stories 3

Showering at Glastonbury I wish! Given the fact I have been to Glasto five or six times and never even got within sniffing distance of a shower. In fact, with minimum 3 hour queues to the only hot showers available and never seeing a cold shower this section would better ...
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June 2015 – What do you do while the shower gets hot?

June 2015 – What do you do while the shower gets hot?

Sometime last year I read that the average person in the UK runs the shower for 1.75 minutes before they get under it. My immediate thought was ‘WTF??’ I get it that no-one wants to jump under a cold shower and start washing while they wait for the water to ...
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May 2015 – Adventures in the world of adolescents part 2

May 2015 – Adventures in the world of adolescents part 2

Back splashing around with adolescents this month in their showers as promised. Plus a bit of info about behaviour change science and methodologies. (A year of showering variously – always keen to expand its reader’s knowledge…). Behaviour change science is (as you would expect) the study of what is the ...
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April 2015 – Back to the numbers…

April 2015 – Back to the numbers…

Can’t remember when I last did a shower blog which focussed on numbers (Well I can’t remember when you didn’t. But I know what you mean cos I lost the will to live halfway through this one. Ed). Yeah, yeah whatever boss. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. This blog ...
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March 2015 – Adventures in the world of adolescents and showering

March 2015 – Adventures in the world of adolescents and showering

As promised in my last blog, a look into the secret world of adolescents, how and why they shower like they do and whether anything can be done to change it. Or, more likely, just some watch and wonder anecdotes… But first things first. We need something that grabs their ...
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February 2015 – The four minute shower challenge

February 2015 – The four minute shower challenge

I do love the 4 minute shower challenge! Not the bit of kit itself, which, if truth be told, looks ever more cheap as everyone falls over themselves in a race to produce the cheapest possible timer. For example, most Water Companies have pretty much moved from the shower bob ...
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January 2015 – Not waving but drowning

January 2015 – Not waving but drowning

‘New Year – New Bathroom’ as the well-known saying goes. We decided to redecorate the bathroom, mainly so that we had more tiles and less grouting; we moved from hundreds of tiles measuring 22 by 22mm to less than 40 measuring 250 by 400mm. So far so good. It looks ...
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December 2014 – Showering with polar bears

December 2014 – Showering with polar bears

Hard-core showering in the extreme. Though (having learnt from my showering in space blog) I would like at this point to add the rider that – “No Mu, I haven’t been showering with real polar bears, so rest assured your eldest daughter will still be around for some time writing ...
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November 2014 – Shower trials Part 1

November 2014 – Shower trials Part 1

Another blog title that could be read in multiple ways. If it wasn’t already almost December I would wax lyrical about sharp-suited lawyers, bewigged judges and paying off the jury. But it is so tough… I have been meaning to blog about shower heads for a long time now, and ...
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October 2014 – Hijacked!

October 2014 – Hijacked!

Despite the exciting title which conjures up images of me being bundled into an unmarked car, and held in an unused shower block for several weeks until I fashion an escape using just my sheer ingenuity, fearless attitude, bits of pipe, an old bar of soap, some broken tiles and ...
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September 2014 – Relative humidity

September 2014 – Relative humidity

No not getting damp when Lyds, Ols or Jon are staying, leaving wet towels everywhere and spending too long in the shower. As if they would! A preamble. Dan has just got a temperature and humidity probe. Ever since he’s had it we have been bombarded with daily (sometimes hourly) ...
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August 2014 – Random shower stories 2

August 2014 – Random shower stories 2

Want to get rich quick? Invest in an off-shore shower manufacturing facility Had a shower in a hotel recently? Noticed the shiny new shower head? Well, even if you didn’t the chances are is that the shower head would have been less than three months old, however much in disrepair ...
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July 2014 – Shower curtains and not the Coandă effect

July 2014 – Shower curtains and not the Coandă effect

‘Why does this always happen?’ I mused last week at the AECB annual conference as the shower curtain was drawn inexorably towards me. The curtain in question was whitish and the tiles were a rather unfetching light fawn but the shower controls were fab! Chunky stainless steel so probably prison ...
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June 2014 – Electric showers

June 2014 – Electric showers

This particular blog has been a long time in the making, almost a year. But it has finally arrived and the world is a better place for it… 85% of UK households have a shower; (this includes showers connected to bath taps.) And 52% of all showers sold in the ...
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May 2014 – Random shower stories

May 2014 – Random shower stories

Solar and short showers I have a good friend who lives in Brighton (hi Paul) who put in an oversized solar thermal system as he wanted to maximise his collection of hot water from the sun and then despaired when he realised (thanks to a fab bit of monitoring kit) ...
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April 2014 – Showering for as long as I want

April 2014 – Showering for as long as I want

First, an apology to regular readers of this blog. In December 2013  I explained how I had been contacted by the MIR space station and offered to try out their shower. There then followed a description of how you shower in space, a short history of showering in space and ...
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March 2014 - Showering in the desert

March 2014 – Showering in the desert

Still in India and desperate to leave the Delhi smog and unseasonably cold weather behind, we headed for Rajasthan along with 25% of the foreign tourists who visit India every year. Rajasthan is the largest state in India and also the driest, especially in the west which is where we ...
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February 2014 - A bucket bath in Delhi

February 2014 – A bucket bath in Delhi

Finally, (and not withstanding last minute visa panics and cancelled flights at great expense) a shower blog from my favourite country, India. We are staying with friends in Delhi, or to be more precise Noida, the urban sprawl in Uttar Pradesh to the east of the capital. Sapna and Samir ...
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January 2014 – Showering in sea water

January 2014 – Showering in sea water

A nice technical showering blog this month – just how I like them… First things first, I wasn’t on a tropical island under a beachside shower. But it wasn’t cold and stormy Britain either. Though it was technically still British soil as I was in Gibraltar – a business trip ...
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December 2013 – Showering in space

December 2013 – Showering in space

I got a couple of complaints last month that I had a towel round me in the shower. Well as Bob Dylan said in Talkin’ World War Three Blues:“You can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time, but you ...
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November 2013 – Fabulous showers

November 2013 – Fabulous showers

As the missing in transit LED shower tale runs and runs, I thought I would add a touch of glamour to the blog this month. The perfect opportunity presented itself at a friend’s shower in Bristol with its disco globe ball. Apologies for the photo, but I was having a ...
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October 2013 – Dangerous showers part 2

October 2013 – Dangerous showers part 2

Oh well, sooner than expected dangerous showers part 2 pops up on the radar. At the end of last month’s blog I signed off with: And Legionella? In my opinion its dangers are vastly overplayed (cue ironic death in later years from exactly this if all the lead and asbestos ...
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September 2013 – Dangerous showers

Maybe I should have left this topic until next month to tie in with last October’s spooky showers blog. But my colour emitting shower is still in the post somewhere and I have just spent a few days on our canal boat engaged in an unsuccessful battle to prevent the ...
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August 2013 – Still showering alone

August 2013 – Still showering alone

I received this PS to an email from Nick recently: “We are all waiting for the showering with a friend blog!” Well, sorry to disappoint my legion of fans out there but that wait will just have to continue. And when I do blog about it, it is likely to ...
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July 2013 - Showers and greywater

July 2013 – Showers and greywater

It’s been quite dry recently (relative term – after all this is the UK in summer we are talking about) and having replanted a clematis at the back of our garden, we were concerned about whether it would survive the change. It wasn’t the most auspicious of sites as it ...
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June 2013 - A short history of showering

June 2013 – A short history of showering

Having just walked Hadrian’s Wall and in the spirit of ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’, I thought a short history of showering would be a good topic for this month’s blog. I would have liked to report on the flow rates encountered along the way, especially the ...
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May 2013 – Power showers

Over 30 years ago I plumbed in my first power shower – thankfully not the first of many. It was over a freestanding original Victorian cast iron bath (complete with lion’s feet) in the middle of a bathroom that was as big as my sitting room. It was the most powerful ...
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April 2013 – Showering in Salzburg and Prague

April 2013 – Showering in Salzburg and Prague

An international feel to this month’s blog and the chance to make some interesting comparisons. It wasn’t quite Salzburg, (I was skiing in the Austrian Alps) but it was Prague which is (though Lyds may beg to differ) the capital of the Czech Republic. Both showers were thermostatically controlled, supplied ...
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March 2013 – Should I wee in the shower?

March 2013 – Should I wee in the shower?

Well, that was a fortuitous turn of events… Saved from blogging about the history of electric showers (of which there seems a paucity of information) by this chance comment from Glamour magazine: “Save water, save the planet, pee in the shower”. According to a poll they ran recently, almost 75 ...
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February 2013 – Showers and swimming pools

February 2013 – Showers and swimming pools

Should I shower before I swim? Which is more detrimental to the environment – the chlorine required to clean the swimming pool if I swim in it without showering v the impact of the hot water for a pre-dip shower? It’s complicated to answer because we are comparing apples to ...
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January 2013 – Showering in soft water

January 2013 – Showering in soft water

Lyds (my niece) was sitting at our kitchen table the other day and said how wonderfully soft, silky and shiny her hair was after two weeks at her mum’s (up in the Lake District), and how rough her hair felt ever since she moved to Sheffield over four years ago ...
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December 2012 – Are hot showers bad for you?

December 2012 – Are hot showers bad for you?

As my year of showering variously comes to a close I am pondering two important questions. Should I continue for another year due to the clamour from my fans? Are long hot showers actually bad for you? The latter question arose from a Defra “messaging event” (presumably from the same ...
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November 2012 – Showering at the Marriott

November 2012 – Showering at the Marriott

Finally, 11 months into the year, I have an invitation to test a shower. It doesn’t quite meet my fantasy of “being invited to try out showers both weird and wonderful!” as stated back in January, but beggars can’t be choosers and all that. Mind you, I may postpone it ...
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October 2012 – Scary showers

October 2012 – Scary showers

Showering recently and mulling over what this month’s blog should be about I realised that with the approach of Halloween, spooky showers were really my only possible option. Of course the most famous scary shower scene has to be Psycho – probably the main reason why shower screens are now ...
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September 2012 – Cold showers - A public health service broadcast

September 2012 – Cold showers – A public health service broadcast

I went to Germany, I had my cold shower. But that was in August and my idea for this month’s blog was to talk about solar showers since we were spending the last weekend in September down on the Gower peninsula in South Wales walking and surfing. Our friends Rossi ...
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August 2012 – Save money – Shower in London

August 2012 – Save money – Shower in London

Spoilt for choice about what to blog about this month. I have been showering in North Wales, Devon, Belgium, Germany and France. I had my first (and only, I hope) cold shower, and measured flow rates in the shower at the Marriot Hotel in Ghent. (Just thought I’d drop that ...
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July 2012 – Singing in the shower

July 2012 – Singing in the shower

I thought I had read somewhere this was a New Zealand initiative but searching for it on the web I also found it in South Africa. Whatever, it’s a great little saying and leads me nicely into this month’s blog. I had categorically promised no maths this month, and surely ...
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June 2012 – Gas or electric showers? The definitive answer…

June 2012 – Gas or electric showers? The definitive answer…

Another day, another downpour is the new saying in the ech2o office. Still, every cloud has a silver lining and for me it’s the fact that the dismal weather means I haven’t yet had to brave the cold shower experience and instead can resort to scientific calculations as to whether ...
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May 2012 – Size doesn’t matter!

May 2012 – Size doesn’t matter!

Or not when you are considering shower performance. Because then it’s the pressure of the water feeding the shower that is far more important than how big the shower head actually is. Hence the success of shower pumps in the UK market which, when connected to a water supply from ...
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April 2012 – Showering with a literary great!

April 2012 – Showering with a literary great!

Off to Laugharne, West Wales, home of Dylan Thomas for a long weekend to stay in the house where he lived and wrote Under Milk Wood. Cue thoughts of using the same shower as a literary genius is a very cool subject for the April blog of a year of ...
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March 2012 – Showering to the nearest second

March 2012 – Showering to the nearest second

As I hadn’t thought of this idea when I was in Brighton in early January, March provided my first opportunity to measure my water use at a hotel as I was in Manchester overnight. I realised I would need some extra kit, as the hotel was unlikely to provide guests ...
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February 2012 – Showering like the Australians do

February 2012 – Showering like the Australians do

An old Australian joke (not sure if it’s still current). “Where is the best place to hide your money in England? Under a bar of soap.” Thought I would talk about my shower use at home. The biggest and best change I made to my shower use was when we ...
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January 2012 – Call this a shower?

January 2012 – Call this a shower?

At the end of January I was visiting Mu and Eric (my parents). They live in a village near Leicester at the end of a lane next to a farm. The water pressure to their house has always been poor, and as the number of homes in the lane has ...
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